Historical Markers

first baptist church

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF PLEASANTON

Located on College Street at Intersection of College Street and Reed Street, State Historical Marker 1666 was erected in 1991 and reads: “On December 16, 1866, seven charter members met together to organize the First Baptist Church of Pleasanton. They met for worship in a variety of places, including the County Courthouse in 1867, a schoolhouse south of town in 1870, and the rock schoolhouse beginning in 1875.

In 1879, Mildred Mansfield (1816-1892) and her son F.M. (1836-1902) donated land at this site, and the congregation’s first sanctuary was completed in 1883. In addition to offering worship and educational programs to its own members, the church also was involved in both foreign and domestic missionary endeavors. As the congregation grew in size over the years, additional buildings were erected to meet membership needs.

New structures were completed in the 1950s and 1960s prior to the church’s Centennial Celebration in 1966. A fire destroyed much of the main church building in February 1972, but the congregation rebuilt and dedicated the renovated structure in October 1974. The Old Rock Schoolhouse, in which the early members had met for worship services, became a part of the church plant in 1986. (1991)”


OLD ROCK SCHOOLHOUSE

schoolhouse historic pleasantonLocated at 201 College Street, State Historical Marker 3797 was erected in 1991 and reads:
“Constructed of locally quarried red sandstone, the Old Rock Schoolhouse was built in 1874 with funds pledged by citizens of Pleasanton. Once completed, the building was deeded to the county for free public school purposes. In addition to its educational function, the schoolhouse also served as a place of worship for the First Baptist Church from 1875 to 1883. A storm cellar in the school yard served as a sanctuary against Comanche Indian raids on many occasions. Children attended classes six months of the year at no charge, but paid tuition for the remaining three months of the term. The Pleasanton Normal School, a training institute for teachers, operated in the schoolhouse during the summer months. After the city built a new public school on Main Street about 1913, the Old Rock Schoolhouse was closed. It later served as a store, a private residence, and an apartment building. Purchased by the First Baptist Church in 1986, it later was renovated to serve once again as an educational facility. Known for many years to local residents as the “Red Rock Schoolhouse”, its original sandstone exterior was concealed under a coat of plaster and paint. (1991)”


CITY OF PLEASANTON

Located on the grounds of City Hall at the intersection of Main and Goodwin Streets, State Historical Marker 4056 commemorates the City of Pleasanton itself. It was erected in 1973 and reads:

“Named for early Texas Settler John Pleasants, by John Bowen (d.1867), San Antonio’s first Anglo-American postmaster. Bowen, assisted financially by associate Henry L. Radaz, in Sept. 1858 founded this town at the juncture of Atascosa River and Bonita Creek as the County Seat of Atascosa County. The first courthouse in Pleasanton (second in county) stood on this site. Men from this and surrounding counties met here in Civil War (1862) to form Co. E, 32nd Texas Volunteer Cavalry, Confederate Army, under Captain Lewis Maverick. In an area thick with Longhorns since Spanish and Indian days, Pleasanton became a cattlemen’s capital. Beginning in 1860s, the Stock Raisers’ Association of Western Texas often convened here. This was place of publication of “Western Stock Journal”, founded 1873. Here gathered the hardiest and most skillful cowboys, including those driving herds from Mexican border to shipping points in Kansas. In spring of 1873 they drove 43,000 Atascosa County cattle up the trail. Pleasanton was County Seat until 1911, and still grows. In 1961 it absorbed North Pleasanton (founded 1912 as site for San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad Shops). County’s largest town, it is famous for live oak trees, and commerce in beef, peanuts, and petroleum. (1973)”


PLEASANTON FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

methodist churchLocated at 420 North Main Street, State Historical Marker 4057 was erected in 1984 and reads:

“This congregation was organized in 1857, one year before the city of Pleasanton was founded. The church was established largely through the efforts of early Methodist circuit preachers such as John Wesley DeVilbliss and Augustus C. Fairman, who later was elected County Judge and settled in Pleasanton. The Rev. Thomas B. Ferguson was appointed first pastor to the Methodist congregation in 1858. Early worship services were held outdoors, in private homes, in the log courthouse, and in the first schoolhouse. The fellowship erected its first sanctuary during the 1860s. A second, built during the 1880s at 421 North Main, today is used for the parsonage. The first church building at this site was constructed in 1912-14. The current sanctuary was completed in 1959. In 1969, Pleasanton First United Methodist Church merged with Jacob’s Chapel United Methodist Church, a black congregation organized during the 1870s. The Pleasanton church continues to uphold the ideals and traditions of its founders as it provides significant service and leadership to the community. Many descendants of its pioneer members continue to worship here. (1984)”


SITE OF SAN AUGUSTINE CHURCH

Located 4 miles east of Pleasanton on SH 97, then 2.3 miles north on IH 37 right of way, State Historical Marker 4882 was erected in 1986 and reads:

“Between 1850 and 1860, Manuel, Enrique, and Francisco Esparza brought their families to settle in what is now Atascosa County. The brothers, along with their sister and mother, were within the walls of the Alamo when it fell to the Mexicans in March 1836. Their father, Gregorio, died in that battle. The Esparza brothers farmed and ranched the open land near this site. Almost immediately after arriving, Enrique and Manuel constructed a small chapel for family worship. In 1869, Enrique and his wife, Gertrudes, donated five acres of their land to the Roman Catholic Church. About the same time, the Esparzas constructed larger church building of native stone. The small mission church was named San Augustine. A storm damaged the church building in 1940 and services were discontinued, although San Augustine was not formally closed until 1942. By the late 1960s, only three exterior rock walls remained, and these were later razed. Many settlements in Texas sprang from the activities of mission churches such as San Augustine that were located at river crossings or ranch headquarters. Although many have disappeared or have been forgotten, they are an important part of the state’s heritage. (Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986)”

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